You can’t say we didn’t try.

As Stephen Colbert ends his long run as the bombastic, willfully ignorant television talk show host of The Colbert Report, I’m wistful that we never landed him as a Steve.

stephen colbert

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Climate change deniers often fancy themselves “skeptics.” For those of us active in movement skepticism, it’s flattering to see others try to ride our coat tails, but it’s also frustrating. Skeptics are known for debunking bogus claims (from ghosts to psychics to the Loch Ness Monster), for operating at the intersection of science and consumer protection, for standing up for the role of evidence and the rational in public discourse. Skepticism means something specific, and deniers just do not do the things that a skeptic does.

That’s what makes it so gratifying that dozens of the leaders of the skeptical movement joined together to state clearly: “Deniers are not skeptics.” Deniers are not Skeptics

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Denial: a big word loaded with emotion. But, like many things in life, denial is a continuum: from full blown outright dismissal to more subtle avoidance, like looking the other way. 

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I’ve just returned from NCSE’s annual rafting trip down Grand Canyon, where Josh Rosenau, Genie Scott, and I regaled our fellow rafters with our unique “two model” approach.

nankoweap

There are all kinds of Grand Canyon rafting charters that specialize in everything you can think of: yoga, en plein air painting, bluegrass music, nudism—and, I imagine, trips combining all of these.

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